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post #1 of 187 Old 03-26-2014, 04:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Last month, I was in New York City reporting on the 2014 Luxury Technology Show. While I was there, I had a long chat with Eric Larsen, the Principal Evangelist at Kaleidescape. During our conversation, we touched on many of the topics that are part of any debate about media servers and cloud-based content delivery.

 

I saw the Cinema One on display at the Luxury Technology Show in NYC

 

I'm already a cable TV cord-cutter, and I use a DIY HTPC in conjunction with a Sony BDP-S5100 and an Apple TV to stream and/or download content. I have a significant collection of Blu-ray discs, iTunes movies, and Vudu HDX movies in my collection. It's a good system, if a bit complicated.

 

During the chat with Eric, he acknowledged that there are pros and cons to both Kaleidescape and PC-based media servers. However, in addition to being a Blu-ray player with an exceptional interface and internal storage (4TB), there is one thing Kaleidescape offers that truly sets the system apartthe ability to use the Internet to purchase and download the exact content found on a Blu-ray disc (or DVD).

 

I've performed enough Blu-ray vs. iTunes vs. Vudu comparisons to know that Blu-ray offers the best sound and picture quality, each and every time. Now, I know it's possible to rip Blu-rays to an HTPC, but that violates copyright laws, so it's not what I'm interested in doing. Full disclosure: I pay for all the music, movies, and TV I watch, except when I fly an antenna to watch OTA (over-the-air) broadcasts—usually sports.

 

Kaleidescape is the only company that offers Blu-ray content as a download. The main problem is the cost of entry—$4000. Let's get this out of the way: The Kaleidescape Cinema One costs more than I've spent on all the current components in my entire AV system combined.  

 

I've spent countless hours finding open-box and clearance bargains, often saving more than 50% off retail, and I took the DIY approach for my subwoofers and HTPC. I'm a spendthrift out of necessity, but I also enjoy tinkering.

 

On the other hand, my media collection represents a far larger investment than the cost of my own stereo system or a Cinema One. In that context, Kaleidescape's solution sounds like a very nice luxury—especially the on-demand access to Blu-rays.

 

Ultimately, my conversation with Eric turned into an opportunity to borrow a Cinema One—to see what it's like to live with it and to compare it with my current methods—sharing the good and the bad along the way. For a few months, I get to pretend I own a Cinema One, and this thread is all about documenting that experience.

 

My borrowed Kaleidescape Cinema One system plus an iPad

 

I invite you to ask questions, make comments, and offer advice. I'll update this post on a regular basis as I gain experience with the Cinema One.

 

So, without further ado...

 


Specifications

 

Media

Downloads from the Kaleidescape Store, precisely matching the quality of Blu-ray disc and DVD
Blu-ray Disc, BD-R, BD-RE
DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW
CD Audio, CD-R, CD-RW

Blu-ray Disc

BD-Live
Profile 2.0

Regional Playback Control

The DVD region code of the Cinema One can be changed up to four times.

The Blu-ray Disc region code of the Cinema One is set at time of purchase and cannot be changed by the customer. Any Cinema One can import any Blu-ray Disc. An imported Blu-ray movie will play if a component of the system matches the region code specified by the disc.

 

Network

100Base-TX/1000Base-T Ethernet (RJ45 connector)
802.11n Wi-Fi USB adapter included

 

Video Output

HDMI

 

Audio Outputs

HDMI
Digital coaxial (RCA connector)
Analog stereo (RCA connectors)

 

Video Modes

1080p60/50/24, 1080i60/50, 720p60/50, 576p, 576i, 480p, 480i
Video processing and user interface selectable to 2.35 (CinemaScape) or 1.78:1

 

Audio Formats

Bitstream pass-through of Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio
Dolby Digital
DTS Digital Surround
MPEG Audio

 

Control

Ethernet control from Crestron, AMX, Control4, Savant, the Kaleidescape App for iPad, and other apps and control systems
Kaleidescape Remote included
Front-panel IR receiver window
IR input (1/8 in. mini-plug)

 

Limited Warranty

3 years (extendable)

 

Certifications

CSA (IEC 60950-1:2005, CSA 60950-1-07 )
FCC Class B
CE
GOST R
RoHS compliant

 

Power

High Power Standby consumption: 20.0 Watts
Low Power Standby consumption: 0.35 Watts
Max consumption: 60 Watts
*Typical: 35W
External power adapter, 100-240VAC to 12VDC @ 5A, 60 Watts 

 

 


 

My Kaleidescape Experience

 

(the latest update is highlighted in red)

 

 

Day One

 

I had to rush to set up the Cinema One, because later in the day I was going to have my first conference call with Kaleidescape, offering my feedback on what it's like to set up and use.

 

The unopened box containing the Cinema One

 

A first peek inside the box

 

Cables, remotes, and power supply

 

Fortunately, there was almost no setup involved. I plugged in the Cinema One and connected it to my Pioneer Elite SC-55 AV receiver via HDMI. I also plugged a USB WiFi adapter into the unit's lone USB port. Using the provided remote, I performed a simple network setup, and within two or three minutes I was done and the Kaleidescape was working.

 

Setup was super simple and only took a few minutes

 

This initial setup was my first in-depth experience with Kaleidescape's interface, which is very clean and responsive. I decided to demo music first since the majority of the time I spend with my system involves listening to stereo recordings.

 

The demo unit came loaded with albums, although there was zero hip-hop or electronic music in the mix. Due to the limited selection of albums that appealed to me, I settled on listening to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Production-wise, it still holds up. Besides, I've never heard Thriller on CD before—I've only heard the compressed iTunes version—so it was a treat for my ears. I plan to rip some of my CD collection onto the Cinema One and see how that goes, but it's not my top priority. As a rule, I enjoy listening to music through iTunes on my HTPC, and most of my collection is in that format.

 

As nice as it is to use the Cinema One as a music player, I did not borrow it for that purpose. My primary interest is in its capabilities as a movie player. I am currently comparing the convenience, ease of, use, and quality of the Kaleidescape experience versus my current  HTPC-centered approach.

 

I just finished my first Blu-ray movie download—The Doors—a 48GB file that took about 2.5 hours over my 105 Mbps Comcast Internet connection.

 

Day 2

 

My wife and I watched The Doors on the Cinema One. It was an impeccable presentation. It's been a few years since we last watched the movie, I was pleased to see how current AV gear elevates the viewing experience. We both felt it was the best looking and sounding presentation of the movie we've witnessed. I especially appreciated the 7.1 channel DTS Master HD soundtrack, which crackled with energy.

 

I downloaded a total of four Blu-ray titles last night—160GB total in about six hours. In addition to The Doors, I also downloaded The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I was surprised that I could, since the Blu-ray release date for that movie is April 8.

 

Evidently, if a movie is available for early viewing via online delivery (i.e. iTunes and Vudu/UltraViolet) then it's also available for download via the Kaleidescape store, in full Blu-ray quality. That's frikkin' awesome, I've already spent over a grand on Vudu HDX just because of the early releases—each and every time I felt guilty that I couldn't wait for the Blu-ray disc to come out.

 

I played John Lennon's "Imagine" at reference levels. It sounded beautiful. The Cinema One is a great CD player. I'm going to enjoy repeating that demo. Great song.

 

Day 3

 

This morning I imported some CDs from my own collection and downloaded Enders Game.

 

In the evening, my friend Josh and I watched two movies: Soldier (1998) and Return of the Living Dead (1985). They are both campy, violent, ridiculous movies. However, Soldier is glossy and slick whereas Return of the Living Dead is a grainy low budget zombie flick with an irreverent comedic undertone.

 

Soldier looked fantastic; we were surprised by the hyper-real look of the film. Even by Blu-ray standards it is a sharp and pristine-looking movie. The sound quality was excellent, featuring DTS Master HD 5.1. Overall I found myself pleasantly surprised by Soldier, it's a worthwhile diversion for Kurt Russell fans.

 

Return of the Living Dead is not a high-definition movie, at its best it is appropriately low-fi, befitting its b-movie cult status. Unfortunately, Vudu was suffering from bandwidth limitations, or perhaps it was sunspots—the point is the signal kept wavering. The result was a bunch of annoying interruptions during the movie; I shut down every other data-consuming device in my house—aside from the BDP-S5100—but Vudu was still sketchy. It's certainly not the first time I've experience issues watching a movie in Vudu HDX. Ultimately, the stream was interrupted a dozen or so times.

 

When I use the Kaleidescape, I try not to think about what it costs, because I really like it. It's fast and silent and super convenient. Plus, I think downloads are superior to streams, especially for long movies and when quality counts. Streaming actual, genuine Blu-ray quality will take up a lot on bandwidth. I'm skeptical whether first generation UHD streaming will even match Blu-ray in terms of having no artifacts—even then, I'd also be concerned about interruptions.

 

Days 4 & 5

 

A weekend of movie watching highlighted the plusses and minuses of each movie watching option at my disposal: Blu-ray discs, Blu-ray downloads, DVDs, iTunes HD downloads, and Vudu HDX streams. 

 

The least satisfying option? Vudu HDX. Relying on streaming is not the way forward, nothing distracts from an immersive movie experience quite like having the show come to a complete stop. Whereas Netflix actually streams quite well since the company struck a deal with comcast, Vudu seems stuck. However it's almost impossible to assign blame or find the root cause of bad streaming—not without interrupting the movie. Vudu HDX was so bad this weekend, I'm actually a bit apprehensive about spending my money on the format—at least as a purchase.

 

Getting into the nitty-gritty, I found that the selection in the Kaleidescape store was somewhat limited, once DVDs were taken out of the equation. It's a fairly extensive collection but pales in comparison to shopping for Blu-ray on Amazon. At the same time, it is also a more limited collection than what Vudu and iTunes offer. 

 

Speaking of DVDs, after watching a bit of DVD video I can definitively say that SD video is dead to me. DVD looks like a moderate quality Netflix stream; it's clearly and utterly inferior to iTunes HD and Vudu HDX.

 

I really like the ability to purchase an early digital release of a Blu-ray quality movie and download it. Kaleidescape needs to expand the Blu-ray catalog to include more back catalog titles that are currently only available as DVDs.

 

Week 2

 

The Cinema One patiently waits for me to have some free time! I had the opportunity to watch part of True Romance last night and it really looked fantastic. Yet another download from the Kaleidescape store. I must admit that the combination of audio fidelity, picture quality, and convenience is spoiling me. I have zero nostalgia for discs, yet I fully appreciate how much nicer Blu-ray typically looks, as compared to cloud-based formats.

 

On Sunday April 6th I visited Theo Kalomirakis, who got his own Cinema One recently and is just getting into it. He showed me a demo scene from Chicago in his theater using the Cinema One as a source. Then, when got home, I queued up the same scene on my own Cinema One. I need to watch that movie!

I did have one glitch,a few days ago a Blu-ray download hung up, I had to unplug and replug the included WiFi adapter to get it going again. Not a big deal, I reported it to Kaleidescape but I also have not had a problem since. I should probably run an ethernet cable but wireless is a lot more convenient. I need to find out if I can use a better/more robust WiFi adapter with the Cinema One.

 

Weeks 3-4

 

It's been hectic lately! I've barely had time to watch movies. One thing is for sure, I've started looking forward to new releases coming out in the Kaleidescape online store. The quality is the hook—as much as I enjoy suing Vudu to watch new releases, I know that Blu-ray looks better. However, I'm truly sick of buying physical Blu-rays. My natural inclination is to seek the highest-quality non-physical format—for any media.

Kudos to Kaleidescape for including a list of paused movies in the menu system. When I stop halfway through a movie on my Sony BDP-S5100, it's a royal pain to resume watching. With the Cinema One, I have a collection of half-watched movies that will resume playing almost instantaneously.

A lot of the value of Kaleidescape's system resides in the software that runs it.

 

May 2014

 

Last night I downloaded and watched "Her" starring Joaquin Phoenix. I intend to use it in a quality comparison between downloadable and streaming formats: Cinema One/Blu-ray versus Amazon's Fire TV/Prime versus Chromecast/Vudu versus Apple TV/iTunes.

 

The movie looked impeccable playing through the Cinema One. Also, since there is no optical disc involved, there was zero worry that streaming issues (Vudu) or a stray thumbprint (Blu-ray player) will interrupt the movie. I appreciated that the Kaleidescape Blu-ray download of Her was a digital early release—it'll be a couple of weeks before the retail Blu-ray hits the shelves.

 

to be continued...

 


 

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post #2 of 187 Old 03-26-2014, 10:32 PM
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Looks like a fun bit of homework!
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post #3 of 187 Old 03-26-2014, 11:01 PM
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I look forward to hearing about your experience with this device and also the contrast and compare to HTPC.

Things should get more interesting over time when H265 becomes more of a standard.
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post #4 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 04:17 AM
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How much space is there on the HDD in this thing? What does a BD movie take up?
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post #5 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 04:49 AM
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A single 4TB drive, can store 100 BR, or 600 DVD's (or some combination of the two formats).





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post #6 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 05:08 AM
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I am looking forward to your review. I have always had Kaleidescape on my wish list and supported them through all they have been thru. They have continued to achieve what we the consumer want to see in family home theater enjoyment. I hope you will address how Kaleidescape plans to incorporate 3D bluray movies and music as well as up coming 4k content and hdmi 2.0. I really like how the screen looks and helps you search for your selections and also parental protection for children and grand parents, friends. The no previews and ads are absolutely solid. I prefer 2:35 screen material but 4.3,16:9, 1.85 etc for older bluray material everyone views I'm not sure how Kaleidescape system handles them. Looking forward to your reviews. I will buy the system, it is on my wish list, close to the top.
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post #7 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kristoffer77 View Post

How much space is there on the HDD in this thing? What does a BD movie take up?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JlgLaw View Post

A single 4TB drive, can store 100 BR, or 600 DVD's (or some combination of the two formats).

Jim

 

In the Kaleidescape store, a lot of Blu-ray downloads are in the 30 GB to 40GB range but a few are 50GB.

 

Thanks for the answer, JlgLaw - I'd better add specs to the OP.


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post #8 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 05:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFree View Post

I am looking forward to your review. I have always had Kaleidescape on my wish list and supported them through all they have been thru. They have continued to achieve what we the consumer want to see in family home theater enjoyment. I hope you will address how Kaleidescape plans to incorporate 3D bluray movies and music as well as up coming 4k content and hdmi 2.0. I really like how the screen looks and helps you search for your selections and also parental protection for children and grand parents, friends. The no previews and ads are absolutely solid. I prefer 2:35 screen material but 4.3,16:9, 1.85 etc for older bluray material everyone views I'm not sure how Kaleidescape system handles them. Looking forward to your reviews. I will buy the system, it is on my wish list, close to the top.

 

I'm going to get right into it this weekend with my friend Josh, who is a movie fanatic. I want to get as granular as possible with the details. I agree about the zero ads, zero FBI warnings, get straight to the movie aspect is fantastic. I didn't know that was true even when you play off a Blu-ray disc—ten seconds after inserting a disc, I'm watching a movie. That's compared to a couple minutes of tedium getting to the same point on my Sony BDP-S5100.


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post #9 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 05:48 AM
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thanks. What formats can you rip cds in? Also can you import files to it via USB?
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post #10 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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thanks. What formats can you rip cds in? Also can you import files to it via USB?

 

In that sense, Kaleidescape is a relatively closed system—it deals with discs and downloads, you can't import music via USB. I'll ask if there are future plans to add that capability. For music, it rips CDs at full quality, there is no option to compress... which is a good thing, IMO.


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post #11 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 07:42 AM
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Some things I would love to see reviewed/compared to your HTPC setup include:

 

Picture quality - The source material itself with the Kaleidescape is supposed to be an exact copy of what you would get on a blu-ray disc, whether you rip it from your own disc or download it from their service.  So, it would be nice to get a comparison of...

 

1) playback of a blu-ray disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same disc copied onto the Kaleidescape.

2) playback of a blu-ray disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same movie downloaded from the Kaleidescape online service.

 

Theoretically, there should be no differences, assuming the Kaleidescape isn't doing any additional video processing that your blu-ray player isn't and vice versa.

 

3) playback of a DVD disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same disc copied onto the Kaleidescape.

4) playback of a DVD disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same movie (DVD version) downloaded from the Kaleidescape online service.

 

This should give us a comparison of the Kaleidescape Cinema One's upscaling capabilities vs. your current blu-ray player.

 

Audio quality - Same setup as above.  I wouldn't expect there to be any differences in any of the tests, but would be nice to confirm this.

 

Soundtrack selection - Choosing a few random titles from your collection, confirm that the same movies from the Kaleidescape online service give you the same options for format (Dolby/DTS/7.1/5.1/stereo/mono) and languages (English/Spanish/French/etc.)  A good test case might be a movie like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".  Do you get the options of Mandarin 5.1 w/ English subtitles and dubbed English 5.1?

 

Title availability - How extensive is their selection of titles available for purchase/download?  Any notable omissions?

 

Price range of blu-ray and DVD titles from the online service - How do these compare to the price of the same titles on disc from Amazon.com (excluding shipping)?  Are their any discounts for purchasing multiple titles at once?

 

Cinema One Interface - Speed, responsiveness, availability of cover/fan art and metadata.  What options do you have for sorting your movies (alphabetical, genre, etc.)?  What options do you have for searching for a movie (title, genre, director, actors, etc.)?  Are their links to external sites such as IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to which you can browse?  Can you create personalized play lists?  If possible, a great way to demonstrate some of these might be to record a short video where you go from turning the Cinema One on to browsing for a movie, selecting it, and playing it back.

 

iPad app - How closely does the app's interface match that of the Cinema One's?  Does it give you all of the same options?  Can you completely control the Cinema One with the iPad or are there some things for which you must use the remote?  Can you play back your movies on the iPad's screen?  Is there any special Second Screen content (alla. Xbox Smartglass)?

 

Other information - What are Kaleidescape's plans regarding future hardware upgrades for things such as 3D, 4K, HDR, HFR, rec. 2020, CEC, etc?  Assuming a new set-top box is required to enable most of these features, will current owners be able to trade in their current Cinema One players for a substantial credit toward the new hardware?  If/when you upgrade your hardware, is there a way to transfer your existing library from your old player to the new one?  If I am not mistaken, the current setup allows you to own multiple Cinema One's and access all of the movies you have spread across multiple players from any one of those players.  When the new player comes out (with the upgraded hardware and feature set), will it have this same compatibility with the current players?  Obviously, any movies you own in 3D/4K could only be played in 3D/4K from the 3D/4K-capable player, but could you play back a 3D/4K title that is stored on the newer player in 2D/1080p from an older player?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you might be able to provide.

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post #12 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 07:59 AM
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I still say that one thing that Kaleidescape needs to offer to REALLY take off is some sort of app where anyone can buy full blown bluray downloads with the excellent HD audio tracks...no one else is offering that right now from what I have seen!

I do like the "plug and play" aspect of these as well but I am also a tinkerer and therefore like HTPC setups with XBMC, Plex, etc....But if they offered their players at reasonable prices it might make me think about switching to one of their devices....

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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post #13 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HockeyoAJB View Post
 

Some things I would love to see reviewed/compared to your HTPC setup include:

 

Picture quality - The source material itself with the Kaleidescape is supposed to be an exact copy of what you would get on a blu-ray disc, whether you rip it from your own disc or download it from their service.  So, it would be nice to get a comparison of...

 

1) playback of a blu-ray disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same disc copied onto the Kaleidescape.

2) playback of a blu-ray disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same movie downloaded from the Kaleidescape online service.

 

Theoretically, there should be no differences, assuming the Kaleidescape isn't doing any additional video processing that your blu-ray player isn't and vice versa.

 

3) playback of a DVD disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same disc copied onto the Kaleidescape.

4) playback of a DVD disc you own on your current blu-ray player vs. playback of the same movie (DVD version) downloaded from the Kaleidescape online service.

 

This should give us a comparison of the Kaleidescape Cinema One's upscaling capabilities vs. your current blu-ray player.

 

Audio quality - Same setup as above.  I wouldn't expect there to be any differences in any of the tests, but would be nice to confirm this.

 

Soundtrack selection - Choosing a few random titles from your collection, confirm that the same movies from the Kaleidescape online service give you the same options for format (Dolby/DTS/7.1/5.1/stereo/mono) and languages (English/Spanish/French/etc.)  A good test case might be a movie like "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon".  Do you get the options of Mandarin 5.1 w/ English subtitles and dubbed English 5.1?

 

Title availability - How extensive is their selection of titles available for purchase/download?  Any notable omissions?

 

Price range of blu-ray and DVD titles from the online service - How do these compare to the price of the same titles on disc from Amazon.com (excluding shipping)?  Are their any discounts for purchasing multiple titles at once?

 

Cinema One Interface - Speed, responsiveness, availability of cover/fan art and metadata.  What options do you have for sorting your movies (alphabetical, genre, etc.)?  What options do you have for searching for a movie (title, genre, director, actors, etc.)?  Are their links to external sites such as IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes to which you can browse.  Can you create personalized play lists?  If possible, a great way to demonstrate some of these might be to record a short video where you go from turning the Cinema One on to browsing for a movie, selecting it, and playing it back.

 

iPad app - How closely does the app's interface match that of the Cinema One's?  Does it give you all of the same options?  Can you completely control the Cinema One with the iPad or are there some things for which you must use the remote?  Can you play back your movies on the iPad's screen?  Is there any special Second Screen content (alla. Xbox Smartglass)?

 

Other information - What are Kaleidescape's plans regarding future hardware upgrades for things such as 3D, 4K, HDR, HFR, rec. 2020, CEC, etc?  Assuming a new set-top box is required to enable most of these features, will current owners be able to trade in their current Cinema One players for a substantial credit toward the new hardware?  If/when you upgrade your hardware, is there a way to transfer your existing library from your old player to the new one?  If I am not mistaken, the current setup allows you to own multiple Cinema One's and access all of the movies you have spread across multiple players from any one of those players.  When the new player comes out (with the upgraded hardware and feature set), will it have this same compatibility with the current players?  Obviously, any movies you own in 3D/4K could only be played in 3D/4K from the 3D/4K-capable player, but could you play back a 3D/4K title that is stored on the newer player in 2D/1080p from an older player?

 

Thanks in advance for any feedback you might be able to provide.

 

That's an excellent post, thank you. I'll see how much of it I can answer, or get answers to.


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post #14 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I still say that one thing that Kaleidescape needs to offer to REALLY take off is some sort of app where anyone can buy full blown bluray downloads with the excellent HD audio tracks...no one else is offering that right now from what I have seen!

I do like the "plug and play" aspect of these as well but I am also a tinkerer and therefore like HTPC setups with XBMC, Plex, etc....But if they offered their players at reasonable prices it might make me think about switching to one of their devices....

 

It offers exactly that, yesterday I downloaded four such files—full Blu-ray quality audio and video—using an iPad to select the titles.

 

According to Eric from Kaleidescape, the unit price of the Cinema One would drop if sales increased significantly. It's dependent on economy of scale.


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post #15 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 08:25 AM
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I have all my stuff on a NAS using 4- 4TB HDD. Originally I used to store, just the movie only for my Blu Rays as an uncompressed MKV, but quickly realized that Blu Ray files are just too large and take up an insane amount of space. I currently compress them down ( approx. 20-30% ), especially for non visually critical material. At this level, it is very hard to tell the difference between the uncompressed, unless you do a side by side freeze frame grab ( I'm using a 60" screen at 8.5 ft away). I have several hundred Blu Rays & HD-DVD's for Hidef, as well as hundreds of DVD's. You may think 4 TB's is plenty of space until you start backing up a couple of seasons of your favorite TV show! TV shows suck up a huge amount of space, but are also the some of the most desirable content to have on a NAS. I recently put Stargate SG1 ( standard Def) on my NAS, all ten seasons!!! Once on my NAS, it is so much easier to watch a particular episode ,and have it load almost instantly, versus combing many disc's trying to find a particular episode. I back all my stuff up without trailers, warnings, and other pain in the ass obstacles that get in my way of my watching pleasure. Also, I figure if I need to watch Lord of the Rings it the best quality possible, I will pull out my Blu Ray disc.
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It offers exactly that, yesterday I downloaded four such files—full Blu-ray quality audio and video—using an iPad to select the titles.

But you have to have a Kaleidescape device....they should have an app that you can install on a HTPC.

Trying to enjoy the simple things in life.

 

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But you have to have a Kaleidescape device....they should have an app that you can install on a HTPC.

 

I understand what you mean now. Yeah, that would be super frikkin' cool.


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post #18 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 08:39 AM
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I understand what you mean now. Yeah, that would be super frikkin' cool.
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I'm enjoying keeping up with this experience... a couple of questions (not really related to the Kaleidescape)

 

Are there other sources to buy downloadable BD with the full onslaught of DTS HD and all?  When I rent a movie from Amazon in HD it never seems to be DTS HD (a side note... unrelated again... I rented a BD from redbox; the new Catching Fire; it was only Dolby Digital, I couldn't find anywhere in the disc menu for DTS HD.  I even checked this forum and sure enough Catching Fire is supposed to be DTS HD.  Last time I rent from redbox).

 

I have a new HTPC set-up with WMC 8.1... it'd be cool if I could buy full detail blu ray movies and store them directly on my HTPC.  Like you, I am not a fan of ripping BD onto my PC.  Most software is ineffective anyway (or I have just had bad luck with them).

 

Also, you are ripping your CDs in what format? MP3?  I recently ripped a CD in loss-less and man was it a huge file.  Which audio format should I rip my current collection?  

 


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Is there any other commercially available blu-ray player that will allow you to skip straight to the movie? Some sort of region-free model perhaps? Or is it possible to mod an OPPO to go straight to a movie?

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post #21 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 09:49 AM
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(a side note... unrelated again... I rented a BD from redbox; the new Catching Fire; it was only Dolby Digital, I couldn't find anywhere in the disc menu for DTS HD.  I even checked this forum and sure enough Catching Fire is supposed to be DTS HD.  Last time I rent from redbox).

Not just Redbox, and the practice is pervasive from certain studios. Also nothing new you would have found the same thing on the first Hunger Games:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430959/netflix-redbox-bds-without-dts-hd-master-audio-dd-5-1-instead
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I have a new HTPC set-up with WMC 8.1... it'd be cool if I could buy full detail blu ray movies and store them directly on my HTPC.  Like you, I am not a fan of ripping BD onto my PC.  Most software is ineffective anyway (or I have just had bad luck with them).

We already got that. It was called managed copy and it died in the womb. It will never happen now with everything moving to streaming.
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@Jhugy2010: I would recommend installing FLAC codecs (take a look at https://www.xiph.org/flac/documentation_tasks.html) and ripping to FLAC. This is a lossless, compressed format for audio.
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"Now, I know it's possible to rip Blu-rays to an HTPC, but that violates copyright laws, so it's not what I'm interested in doing."

Is that just some "I'm covering my butt" language?... what on earth is the HTPC for then?
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Quote:
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Not just Redbox, and the practice is pervasive from certain studios. Also nothing new you would have found the same thing on the first Hunger Games:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1430959/netflix-redbox-bds-without-dts-hd-master-audio-dd-5-1-instead
We already got that. It was called managed copy and it died in the womb. It will never happen now with everything moving to streaming.

 

Goodness... I've checked everywhere for info regarding this (guess I never thought to check the forums).  I guess I can understand now why they'd do this... at first I really thought I got ripped off, then I thought I may have rented some "burnt" copy.  

 

I hate the idea of streaming; this is the reason why I have yet to buy a BD movie from iTunes or Amazon instant video (I'm assuming both of these options are streaming only?  The movies themselves are stored on the cloud?)

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@Jhugy2010: I would recommend installing FLAC codecs (take a look at https://www.xiph.org/flac/documentation_tasks.html) and ripping to FLAC. This is a lossless, compressed format for audio.

 

Thank you I bookmarked that page and will get to it when I get home. 

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Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

"Now, I know it's possible to rip Blu-rays to an HTPC, but that violates copyright laws, so it's not what I'm interested in doing."

Is that just some "I'm covering my butt" language?... what on earth is the HTPC for then?

I'm willing to try it again as this is my first HTPC experience (I'm loving it!).  PM sent.


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post #25 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 10:45 AM
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If I wanted something like this, I would go the iTunes route. The quality is slightly less but iTunes is much cheaper (free.) I know one person with all his media in the iTunes cloud (music through iTunes match) and it works well for him.

But, I still prefer Blu Ray and "disc clutter" is not a problem for me. I have 1000+ Blu rays alphabetized and fully organized.
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post #26 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 10:48 AM
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Mark, thank you for all your well-written, straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter articles. I look forward, with great enthusiasm, to the continuing Kaleidescape Chronicles.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javanpohl View Post

"Now, I know it's possible to rip Blu-rays to an HTPC, but that violates copyright laws, so it's not what I'm interested in doing."

Is that just some "I'm covering my butt" language?... what on earth is the HTPC for then?


Everything else.  Music, photos, streaming device with full internet browser, PVR for OTA/cable broadcast TV, gaming, home video storage and playback, playback of optical discs, media server for multiple displays and audio systems in different rooms and/or mobile devices.  Configured with the proper media center software, you can effectively use a single UI for all of your media.  All of the above is perfectly legal and isn't possible with any other single device.

 

The primary benefit of ripping blu-rays to your HTPC/NAS is the convenience factor of not having to dig out the disc and put in in the player.  While that convenience is very nice to have and is one of the primary draws of the Kaleidescape Cinema One, HTPC's can still serve most of their functionality without it.  Some people choose not to rip blu-rays due to the legal issues.  Others do so because they don't trust the ripping software not to cause problems with their HTPC's.  There's also a significant time investment in ripping your movie library.  Some people are intimidated by that or simply procrastinate in favor of just getting up and putting the disc into the player.  For some, it's all of the above.

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post #28 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 10:58 AM
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Does this allow "ripping" of my own blu-ray into the Cinema one player, or blu-ray download is the only way I got a blu-ray copy to it?
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post #29 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 11:15 AM
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It's not redbox that chooses to give you the lossy audio on rentals, it's the studio. I know Lionsgate rentals are all DD. Enders Game was the same way.

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post #30 of 187 Old 03-27-2014, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Does this allow "ripping" of my own blu-ray into the Cinema one player, or blu-ray download is the only way I got a blu-ray copy to it?

 

Two things...

 

You can rip a Blu-ray to the drive, but you have to insert it every time to watch. However, whether you rip the Blu-ray or not you can start watching immediately—no FBI warnings or previews.

 

Also, for $1.95 you can turn the Blu-ray into a digital copy (as long as it is also in the Kaleidescape store) and eliminate the need to put the disc in to watch.

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